Unification News for September 2002

Father Blesses National Won Jeon Shrine

by William Selig

Washington, D.C.: At 4:00 p.m. on May 14, 2002, Dr. Chang Shik Yang and Rev. Michael Jenkins dedicated our new Won Jeon Shrine. Also attending the ceremony were Rev. Levy Daugherty, Antonio and Kyoko Betancourt, Kitty Wojcik, Wilfredo Rivera, Jan de Goey, and William Selig.

Located less than five minutes from the Washington Times in historic Fort Lincoln Cemetery, the Won Jeon is envisioned as the Arlington Cemetery of our movement, a holy ground and eternal resting place for our ascended brothers and sisters from across America.

The cemetery is located in the former Fort Lincoln, which strategically protected the nationís capital during the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln is said to have met there to discuss military strategy. The cemetery was chartered in 1912 by an act of the Maryland General Assembly and presently encompasses 178 acres.

Background

The genesis of the Won Jeon project is tied to the 25th anniversary of the Unification Church building on Columbia Road in Washington. As part of a series of events commemorating our purchase of the building in 1976, regional leader Rev. In Hoi Lee approved the proposal to purchase a plot of land as a church cemetery.

There are a number of brothers and sisters who have ascended and are buried throughout the city, but this was an idea to bring us together. After all, we plan for many things in life, such as campaigns, college funds, vacations, etc. It makes sense to plan for our seung hwa (funeral) and won jeon (cemetery) arrangements. It is not only financially wise, but it tremendously eases the burden placed on our loved ones.

In September 2002, when our brother Tom Wojcik ascended, Fort Lincoln made us an offer for a group burial space. Twelve members, including several blessed children, are already buried there. An executive committee of elders, including Antonio Betancourt as chairman, Jim Borer as legal counselor, and Keith Cooperrider as financial overseer, was organized to discuss the proposal. After several meetings, we sought the approval of Dr. Chang Shik Yang, who heartily accepted the offer. We contacted HSA-UWC headquarters in New York and, after consulting with Kay Allen of the Legal Affairs Department, opened a bank account in Washington in the name of the HSA-UWC with Kyoko Betancourt as treasurer.

On July 26, the day of the Service for Peace celebration in Washington, Dr. Yang reported to Father about the won jeon and also the passing into the spiritual world of our brother Rev. Purnell Spicer. True Parents wholeheartedly approved of holding a national-level Seung Hwa Ceremony for Rev. Spicer and gave his blessing on having the national Won Jeon Shrine.

Vision

Brothers and sisters, we have begun placing an ad in the Unification News to promote the Won Jeon, and already the response has been good. Families from Ohio and New Jersey are interested, and currently we have a limited number of the original lots to sell by the end of this year. If your family captures the vision behind this project, you can contact William Selig to be one of the original owners.

This is a project for the whole American movement. It is a national memorial as well as an honorable resting place for many good members. When groups come to Washington from Korea, Japan, or elsewhere, after visiting sites including the church, the Times, and the Ballet Academy, they may also come to the Won Jeon Shrine for prayer and meditation.

The group discount allows us to offer one person and two person crypts at $1,700 and $2,000. The regular cost is about $6,000, so the savings is considerable.

For more information and to reserve your space, contact: scwpeace@starpower.net, phone: (202) 269-5337 and fax: (202) 832-2970.

Endorsement

This is a excerpt from a letter sent by Dr. Chang Shik Yang and Rev. Michael Jenkins to the church membership.

Dear Brothers and Sisters; It is our great honor to announce the dedication of a new national Won Jeon Shrine for the American movement. We invite all families to purchase a plot and share in this uniquely American providence.

Already in Japan and Korea, the movement has its own won jeons for an eternal resting place for our ascended brothers and sisters. Now Heavenly Father and the spiritual world have made very special preparations so America can join this providence and begin taking steps for the eternal mission that awaits every man, woman, and child.

We wholly endorse this project and ask you to please consider purchasing a plot at the National Won Jeon Shrine.

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